Just like you might search for a hotel room or an airfare deal on a discount travel website such as Travelocity, Seth Cantor is hoping you’ll want to do the same for less than prime sports ticket inventory.
He launched FanRates.com in November and partnered with the New Jersey Nets and Los Angeles Clippers to offer up reduced price tickets to some of those NBA teams’ less popular game dates. The tickets come directly from the teams’ inventory. The company has since forged partnerships with the Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors and MLS teams, Chivas USA and the San Jose Earthquakes.
For teams it doesn’t partner with, FanRates.com directs visitors to secondary ticketing services, which it does not control.
Last month, the company partnered with the Panthers. For tomorrow night’s game against the Buffalo Sabres at BankAtlantic Center, for example, you’ll find $50 sideline balcony seats for $20, and a $95 premium endzone seat for $65. Check out other Panthers offers at FanRates.com.
FanRates wants to offer fans a less expensive ticket option, and teams a way to fill more seats.
“Not every team sells out nowadays and it has nothing to do really with their records,” said Cantor, CEO of Brooklyn, NY-based FanRates.com.
Well, sometimes, it does. Particularly in South Florida. But Cantor’s point is that in a difficult economy, fans have to make choices and sometimes they’re choosing not to attend games at all.
“People have to understand we’re not selling the prime inventory at the reduced price,” Cantor said.
By way of example, he said, travelers who want to fly non-stop to Las Vegas, sit in first class and arrive at a specific time, don’t find those flights on discount travel websites.
“But if you want to go to Vegas and you don’t mind if it’s a connecting flight or if you get in at 11 o’clock or if you’re sitting in the back of the plane, you go to the travel sites,” he said. “Same deal with our site.”
Cantor also stresses FanRates isn’t undercutting season ticket holders, who make their investment based on wanting to choose their location at every game, playoff ticket priority and extras, such as player autograph sessions.
“If you want to buy based on location,” Cantor says, FanRates.com isn’t for you.